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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

21 day cleanse

I'm starting a 21 day cleanse on July 1st. I'll be on a strict vegan diet, and omitting caffeine, sugar, and gluten from my diet. I'll be posting (hopefully daily) on my progress. After the cleanse I plan to re-introduce gluten 1st, then at some point I will be scaling down to more of a vegetarian diet. I <3 cheese to much to give it up forever!

Enjoy the next 3 weeks. I'm sure to be a grouchy beast for a few days ;)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog parties time to post just yet, but wanted to remind myself to blog about the Blog parties being hosted in the Teen sector. They are hilarious! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Displaced anger

It's almost become an epidemic in this household. I'm not sure what more I can do with this one. I don't know how I can have 5 family members whom refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. I think I accept my role in the negative things that come unto my life fairly consistantly. Almost taking too much of the blame in many situations.

My husband found his favorite hat on the floor this evening. The dog had apparently chewed it up. It's not the first item this dog had used as a chew toy...not even the 1st hat. You would think that he would learn that this is why people should pick up their belongings. Instead he goes after the dog, swinging the hat at him, telling him he's a bad dog.

My oldest son found one of his fave Wii games was scratched beyond repair. HE cannot blame the game anymore. Instead of accepting responsibility for not putting the games back in their cases he stomps around the house, interrogating his siblings to see who the last soul was that played his precious game. Surely it wasn't him, right?

My daughter lets her toddler brother use her iPod. It has been missing for weeks. She blames him for not taking care of it. Who loans a toddler one of their most prized possesions? Of course its not partly her fault for trusting a 4 y/o to be responsible. It's probably buried in the sandbox, or in the dirt somewhere.

My middle son was playnig with his transformers. Someone broke the arm off of his Optimus Prime. He's in a fit of rage because he's certain the toddler did it because the toddler clearly hates him. It couldn't have possibly been an accident, or because our middle son plays rough and throws toys around in the head of the battle. Nooooooooo...had to be the babies fault.

Then there is my toddler. He leaves a toy on the floor and daddy steps on it. Daddy picks it up and places it on the counter to see if it can be fixed after work. The toddler see's the damaged toy and demands to know who did this. I explain that daddy accidentally stepped on it because it was on the floor. I ask if he is supposed to leave toys on the floor at night. He replies "Why doesn't daddy watch where he is walking?"


It really does start to feel like a lost cause. Don't get me wrong. My children are not always irresponsible. It just seems to come in waves, like they have all planned to join forces on Wednesday to take me to the brink of insanity.

I need a glass of wine, and a bubble bath!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The thriller, the filler, & the spiller!

We visited grammy and grampy, my husbands parents, over fathersday weekend. My mother in law, Nancy,  has always had planters sprinkled all over her property, and I have always secretly coveted the craft to container garden like her. Don't tell her...for I shall delete the prrof and never admit to the envy! I'm just no good at keeping things alive in planters!

I learned a few tricks from her, and I couldn't wait to test out her method on my naked planters that live on my front porch for the spiders to make their homes upon.

I must admit that I'm still no completely sold that I will not kill these things, kind of like when Marie leaves out or swuitches up a secret ingredient to a recipe on Everybody love Raymond, and Debra can never seem to duplicate her recipe. We'll see...may have to do a follow up blog to show how they thrive...or die.

This is what I've been staring at for over a year now. :(

So, she tells me that the secret to full, voluptuous (is it okay to refer to plantlife as voluptuous? IDK, sounds good to me) is to use the thriller, the filler, and the spiller.

She said your thriller should be the center focal point to the planter. It should be a tall plant, grass, etc.
I decided to use some spike grass for my "thriller".

Next you need some filler. A plant with nice color, and one that stays small/short but spreads wide is best. I used some Laguna sky blue and wedding white for the "filler".

Lastly you need some spiller to cascade out of the planter. She suggested some ivy, or other vining type plant. I used 3 vinca vines for the "spiller".

The spillers, and thrillers were $1 per pot at my local super store garden center. The fillers were $3.50 per pot. The cost per planter was about $13.50 with expensive dirt included. The store sold simlar sized planters for $30 each, and their planters are not as pretty as mine. Just sayin'.

I started by dumping out last years potting soil. A great gardener told me that reusing potting soil was a bad idea unless you can sterilize it...and I don't know nuttin' about all of that! I used the old soil to fill in holes the dogs had dug around the property. *sigh*

I dumped about a quart of rocks in the planter for good drainage, and this saved me on cost by using old rocks we had from an old pond we had recently dug out.

I topped the rocks with Miracle Grow Moisture control potting mix. I admit that my lack of success in container gardening i the past has likely been a lack of watering, and the nice lady on the commercial seemed to have fallen the same fate as I before she tried this dirt, so I'm going to try it out this year. It was $5 a bag, and 1 bag filled 2 planters. Not too terribly bad...I still hate the paying for dirt thing. What a racket!

Don't fill the planter all the way to the rim. Leave it to the level of the base of your plants roots. You can fill in around them with a hand shovel, and why fill the planter and turn around and have to dig out the holes for the plants, right?

I placed the thriller in the center.

I ended up moving it back a few inches because of how the planters sit on my porch and how much of the back would be seen. None.

Next I placed the fillers. I'm told this stuff will fill in around the thriller. We'll see. I'm excited to see how this works out!

Lastly I added in the spillers, and back filled the holes surrounding all plants with the MG Moisture soild stuff.

I think they look nice. I''m hoping they survive me, and thrive! If this doesn't work I am going to assume that planters just aren't my thing and fill them with tacky plastic grasses. Ha ha!

Have fun in your garden, no matter the size. I've always said gardening is my therapy. It's rewarding to watch things grow, and to learn how to make them grow better over time.

Here's to me being a container gardener. If you see my porch urns oncraigslist next'll know why! ;D

What is up with the dishes?

I think I may very well have lost my mind! I know my hubs did dishes last night, which was nice considering I cooked dinner. :) I know I did a load of dishes this morning while I cooked a batch of 36 I wouldn't have to make more for a few days. Here I sit with a sink full of dishes, and I haven't even prepared lunch yet. What. The. Heck?

Seriously, where do these dishes come from? I think there may be a dish fairy playing pranks on me. I've considered labeling the kids plates to see who is using plates like they change clothes, but I seriosuly doubt tey would use their own plate. They're smart like least they think they can pull one over on me. They should know by now I catch them every. single. time!

I wish sometimes I could care less for the environment, be lazy and just use paper plates and throw away cups. We barely make it to recycle day as it is with our 96 gallon recycle cart. That alone is embarrasing wnough for me. Even with composting, and eating lots of fresh produce, we still seem to have more "trash" than any family of 6 should.

I'm thinking about making the kids eat finger foods for the rest of the summer. Perhaps skip the plate when they are having a sandwhich and just placing it on a napkin...or maybe even buy some cloth napkins to use instead of plates for lunch.

I don't know what the solution is yet, but this is seriously out of hand! I can't be washing dishes 3-5 times a day. My hands cannot handle all of that soaking. They will surely fall off!

How about you? How do YOU minimize yor workload in the kitchen?

Making holidays simple

I had intended to post this blog BEFORE Fathers day...ahhh, such is life.

On the not so grand holidays, like Fathers day, Mothers day, etc. We have found that making the giving simple really saves a lot of money, time, and energy.

We each get a special breakfast, which as yo know to any parent just means hot food that wasn't scraps left over on the kids plates. Ha!

We have the kids make homemade cards, because not only are they more precious and worth saving, they save a lot of money that we'd rather have in our pockets, not Hallmarks!

The kids usually make something for the parent. It might a painting, a t-shirt with all of the kids handprints on it, an award, or just anything creative.

We are teaching the kids to not "expect" extravagent gifts on these occasions and showing them that a gift from the heart is loved even more than a cool new gadget from the store.

I like the savings, the fact that it means bringing less into the home, and the idea that the kids get involved instead of mom and dad just shopping for cards and gifts.

I have a T-shirt idea for next year and I will try to post that test run BEFORE next Mom's and Dad's day :)

So, think about simplifying your holidays. Stop focusing on material goods, and think about what you can do for that person that doesn't bring clutter back into your life...or add to the clutter you're still battling!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A day for dad

I had high hopes of this day being a wonderfully relaxing day for dear old dad. It didn't end up being that way. Since I don't have a lot of happy moments to share from today I'm just going to share the happy morning, and pretend the rest of the day never happened. :)


We made dad some chocolate chip pancakes, and a nice cup of coffee for breakfast!

The kids made him homemade cards, a key chain, a coffee mug, and a Fathers Day ribbon.

He seemed very happy with all of the kids creations.

The end.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

IT list #2 Conner Prairie

Today we enjoyed a few hours up at Conner Prairie thanks to IndyMoms. I won tickets for the family and they included a picnic lunch prior to taking a tour of the park.

When we arrived the boys spotted this old canon and I saw it as perhaps my only opportunity to get a photo of all 4 kiddos sporting 4 smiles for the day so I took advantage of the moment!

Our 1st stop was to the shelter. The mom squad was passing out animal visors for the kids. 
Meet Aiden the piglet, and Dane the duck!

The kids sat down and decorated some paper hot air balloons, a craft set up ate
each table for the kids to enjoy while the families visited aka mom time!
Next we had a picnic lunch. It was a very nice lunch. Not only did I get a break
from making a meal, and cleaning it up, the samis were tastey!

After lunch we made our 1st stop the 1859 balloon voyage. The kids got a chance to hop onto the deck, although sadly the balloon couldn't launch today because of the winds/weather.
They had a station where the kids could fill mini balloons. Dane enjoyed this!

...and yes, I forced my oldest two to dress up in smelly, old timey clothes in 90 degree weather for this photo. They were not impressed, and it's likely the last time I will ever get them to do such a thing.
Next to the balloon was a strip of old time stores. They were kinda neat.
I liked how they had painted window displays to make them look like real stores.
The next stop was the Lenape Indiana camp 
This is a Wigwam that the Indian children would sleep in. It was covered in large sheets of tree bark.
Inside were bunk beds made from tree branches.
There were a lot of furs spread out onto the beds when we visited.
This old cabin was the trading post.
Inside the post was a very cool fire place. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to prepare all of your meal in there? I'll keep my kitchen for now, thank you!
The trading post was looking to trade their wares for fur. We didn't have any fur so we just looked around.
After we left camp we headed into Prairie town. There was a wedding going on in town today.
The single town ladies were all a gossip about how the McClures thought they were a bit better off than everyone else. Who knew there was small town drama?
A very nervous father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle.
as a musician played his violin.
Guests came in from many other towns to take part in the special day.
The couple shared their vows, and everyone ate cake...except for us. I didn't think the kids could handle the sugar and the heat, and we had saved all of our chocolate chip cookies that we didn't eat at the picnic earlier.
Some of the wedding guests were staying at the Golden Eagle Inn, where you could stay for a night for just $ .12!
We moved on over to the school house where the kids played with stilts. I wish I had some pics of the school, but I was avoiding steps for the remainder of the day, for I had once again twisted my left ankle.
Nadine was a natural on the stilts.
Andrew was not...
We stopped by one of the residents barn to chase some chickens. They move fast! Even Aiden couldn't catch one. Believe me, it was not for lack of trying. and trying. and trying.
Just a wagon...because I think they are neat!
We toured the Conner house heirloom gardens. The kids enjoyed smelling plants, and walking on the garden paths. I loved the garden itself, and am considering making my next garden lay out a little something like this one!
We visited the animal encounters barn. The kids loved this part the best. All four of my children are major animal lovers.
They enjoyed petting the goats...
and Aiden hopped on this saddle while giving a little Yee-hawww cowboy!
meet Ham & cheese. She's my only daughter. She thinks she's cute because peple keep telling her so. I have to admit, while she may be rotten at times, she makes on hell of a cute cowgirl!
I think Dane would have pet animals all day.
We ended the day inside the air conditioned welcome center, where Aiden and Dane played with trains for all of 5 minutes before a tantrum ensured. We had long since missed nap time and Aiden needed to get home, stat!

It was a jam packed afternoon, and we didn't get to see much more than a third of Conner Prairie. I'd love to get a membership and take the kids back to spend more time touring the park, and participating in the events we didn't have time for today.

Another big thanks to IndyMoms for their contest! Our family enjoyed the park very much!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A 4 Year Old & his PB&J

Every day after daycare my toddler has an afternoon snack. Today he asked me to open the pantry for him so he could make a snack. Normally he says "get a snack" so I was curious what he had up his sleeve.

As he pulled out the jar of peanut butter I asked "What are you doing?" and he said "I'm going to make me a peanut butter jelly sandwhich. I'm going to make it by myself for myself."

So, I grabed the camera and decided to watch him make this sandwhich. I must admit I was a bit dissapointed that he was able to make his sandwhich without making a mees. In fact, he did better than my 8, 11, & 13 year olds when it came to cleanliness and technique.

He had such a sense of big boy satisfaction when he was finished, and he grinned like it was the best PB&J he had ever tasted when he ate it. It was one of those moments I just hope to remember for decades.